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    Sale 7590

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    4 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 20

    HISTORIATED INITIAL C on a leaf from a Choirbook, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM

    Price Realised  

    HISTORIATED INITIAL C on a leaf from a Choirbook, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
    [Italy, possibly Verona or Siena, final quarter 15th century]
    770 x 480mm leaf, 480 x 230mm initial (overall). A monstrance with the Host shown on an altar between two candlesticks against a blue background, the initial staves of pale pink, blue and green acanthus, on a burnished gold ground, accompanying scrolling acanthus border of the same colours and with golden disks; rubrics in red, six four-line in red with music of square notation above six lines written in black ink in a gothic bookhand, the incipit in display capitals alternately of red and blue with red penwork flourishing, catchword in lower margin of verso, a foliate intial of similar type on recto and folio number viii (small area of loss from gold ground, water stain at lower edge, minor cockling at upper and lower edges, some pale spotting).

    This initial has the introit 'Cibavit ex eos adipe' for the feast of Corpus Christi. The altar frontal has the monogram of Christ in the form associated with San Bernardino; it may be that the Gradual from which the leaf came was for a Franciscan house.

    This is an extremely handsome leaf, the border and initial executed with great precision and finesse. The frothy fronds of acanthus in sugared almond colours and the involved delicacy of the white penwork have the contolled exuberance of borders painted by Liberale da Verona. See E. Carli, Enluminures des chants choraux pour a Cathédrale de Sienne, 1991, pls I-XV, and H.J. Eberhardt in Mantegna e le Arti a Verona 1450-1500, eds S. Marinelli & P. Marini, 2006, p.289.


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